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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
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    3,592

    Default Does "Large Cell" Beekeeping work?

    Does "Large Cell" Beekeeping work?
    I have only used sc foundation but if there is proof that LC is better I might be willing to experiment.

    If there's no clear advantage I'll just stick with what I've been doing...
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    4,953

    Default Re: Does "Large Cell" Beekeeping work?


    Just in case meaning of the imagery is unclear, I found it with a search of "Stir the Pot."

    Last edited by Barry; 12-14-2012 at 10:34 PM.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,435

    Default Re: Does "Large Cell" Beekeeping work?

    LC works for me personally and the research hives. SC experts always attack Tom Seely but he is just one of dozens in several states and countries that found SC ineffective. The better question is how many small cell beekeepers do not use survivor or hygeinic stock, avoid poisoning bees unnecessarily, and do not starve them nutritionally, or stick them on trucks for most of the year as migrant workers.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Salem, Oregon
    Posts
    915

    Default Re: Does "Large Cell" Beekeeping work?

    I will have a 5.5% loss this winter about double of what I normally have.
    All large cell.
    And I did not have to join the beekeeping taliban in order to keep losses low.
    I just DO MY JOB as a beekeeper to the best of my ability every day.
    I have exactly ONE hive more than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond question.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    4,040

    Default Re: Does "Large Cell" Beekeeping work?

    bc, for what it is worth, and after three seasons using mann lake rite cell with a few foundationless mixed in, and zero treatments for mites:

    2010 4 hives, no losses
    2011 10 hives, no losses
    2012 20 hives, 3 losses

    the 2012 losses were one from afb, one from laying workers, and one from mites.

    i attribute the one from mites to a poor queen, made by a weak nuc, that probably didn't mate well.
    i would have tried to save it by requeening if i would have caught it in time.
    beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,277

    Default Re: Does "Large Cell" Beekeeping work?

    I've been doing LC for over 11 years, basically treatment free. The "basically" qualifier means the first year when I overwintered a single colony I used Apistan because the beginner book I read was all about treating bees and I didn't have enough confidence to "break the rules". That was the first and only time I used "hard" treatments in any of my colonies. I used Sucrocide one season on a few colonies and MAQS (Fall 2011) on only two of my 40 colonies. I've come to the conclusion that these treatments are simply not worth the effort and expense. I saw no advantages from these treated hives relative to those neighboring untreated LC hives. In fact, one of the two hives treated with MAQS was the only one that showed significant number of mites in the drone brood the following spring. BTW, I use the evil 5.4 Mann lake Rite-Cell foundation too. Granted, my locality has pretty mild winters, so I don't want to make my record appear applicable to other regions. I run good hygienic stock (mostly from Glenn), and yes, even some of the V*H that so many seem to hate here on beesource. My colonies are extremely productive, far above most that I encounter in the 3 local clubs that I attend. My colonies all carry SHB, which I also don't manage with no negative impact. BTW, I've had SHB for 11 years. I monitor for varroa through drone brood uncapping and the occasional sticky board. I do split all my production colonies each spring using cut-downs to break the brood cycle just prior to peak honey flow. I make a good number of queens each year to propagate the best of my best.

    So, yes it is doable (at least in my location) without harsh chems and SC. Has the pot been stirred enough yet?
    Last edited by AstroBee; 12-14-2012 at 05:53 PM. Reason: Sorry, I meant Rite-Cell

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Belews Creek, NC, USA
    Posts
    272

    Default Re: Does "Large Cell" Beekeeping work?

    if honey bees naturally form a smaller cell, why is most foundation designed to encourage larger cells? What is the advantage of larger cells?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Kaysville, Utah, USA
    Posts
    363

    Default Re: Does "Large Cell" Beekeeping work?

    Quote Originally Posted by Belewsboy View Post
    if honey bees naturally form a smaller cell, why is most foundation designed to encourage larger cells? What is the advantage of larger cells?
    The way I heard it, larger cells make larger bees, which is supposed to mean more nectar per load, hence increased honey production.
    Don't provoke a hive full of angry bees.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: Does "Large Cell" Beekeeping work?

    Quote Originally Posted by Belewsboy View Post
    if honey bees naturally form a smaller cell, why is most foundation designed to encourage larger cells? What is the advantage of larger cells?
    yeah, there's some history behind it. apparantly the first ones to figure out how to make foundation thought it would be a good idea, and it stuck.
    beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,461

    Default Re: Does "Large Cell" Beekeeping work?

    I am not so sure of that. I have one of the first foundation mills made, by Mr. Olm of Fond du Lac Wis., and it is not the size of modern foundation. Neither is my great grandfather's mill in the Museum in Cassville, Wis. I can try to find my records.

    Crazy Roland

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: Does "Large Cell" Beekeeping work?

    how cool is that roland. i don't really know the history, but it seems like that info has been posted somewhere on the forum. where's it at rader!?
    beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf

  12. #12

    Default Re: Does "Large Cell" Beekeeping work?

    I found second hand Silicone press for sale. I would like to make my own foundation. The seller told me it has few air bubbles!!! Will that be a problem for my bees? Thanks in advance

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    24,470

    Default Re: Does "Large Cell" Beekeeping work?

    No.
    Yer welcome.
    Mark Berninghausen "Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board." Zora Neale Hurston

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,592

    Default Re: Does "Large Cell" Beekeeping work?

    Well... I'm not convinced that LARGE CELL beekeeping has any advantages over small cell.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: Does "Large Cell" Beekeeping work?

    we don't know for sure.

    i 'm guessing small cell might give some advantage, but it's not the only factor among many others all of which added together determine the final outcome.

    many have found ways to successful off treatments with standard cell, and some have found small cell does not guarentee success off treatments.

    i'll consider it if all else fails, which so far, it hasn't.
    beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    SOMERSET, ENGLAND
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    336

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sullivan, MO
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    827

    Default Re: Does "Large Cell" Beekeeping work?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    Since the first day is no time elapsed and the 20th day is 19 days elapsed it would seem Huber was saying 19 days... but then if you add up all the days he enumerates, it comes to 18 1/2 days... so in Huber's time, Huber came up with 18 1/2 days not 21 days.
    Thank you Michael. I was going to respond" I'll see your Huber and raise you a Michael Bush", but figured you'd see this and comment.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: Does "Large Cell" Beekeeping work?

    emergence time small vs. large cell would be easy enough to measure. hives would need to be in the same location to control for temperature. even if there is a difference, any effect on mite population would remain an extrapolated inference. my belief is that having clean comb is just as if not more important. jmho.
    beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf

  19. #19

    Default Re: Does "Large Cell" Beekeeping work?

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    my belief is that having clean comb is just as if not more important. jmho.
    This, to me, is the single most significant positive to going foundationless.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,481

    Default Re: Does "Large Cell" Beekeeping work?

    >In small cell, do you get emergence earlier? Say, the 18th or 19th day?

    Yes.

    >If yes, what accounts for that?

    I can only speculate. But the only difference is cell size. I assume when the larvae mature filling the cell with their body is a trigger somewhere along the line. But then they get capped a day sooner and that may play into it as well.

    >Regardless of how days are counted today, to interpret the older writings such as Huber, we need to understand what he originally meant by his words.

    It's not difficult. He specified each stage in hours. You can add up the hours and you get 18 1/2 days.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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